My best friend called that morning to tell me he had died. "I didn’t want you to find out from someone else," she said as I stood there in shock. "He died yesterday, but I didn’t find until today. He’d been sick for several months, you know?"
HOW could I have NOT known? He had been part of my life for so long. True, he was in the shadows of my past now, but he had been the center of my world for so long. How could this happen without me knowing it? Without me feeling it?
Then I thought about the dreams…
I had been dreaming of him nearly every night for months. All summer… all the time he’d known he was terminally ill.
I’d felt from the beginning that the dreams had meant something, but in my need for him I had misunderstood what that meaning was. I thought they’d meant that it was time for me to take my chance now, to find him, go to him, and let him know how I’d felt about him all these years. I thought he—or ‘something’—was telling me that we only had a little time left, but that now our differences didn’t matter so much. I was mature now, and could go to him as an equal. The thirty-two years between us wouldn’t mean so much now.
My mind had been filled with these thoughts through those sunny summer days. It had been even more filled with them as I lay in bed each night beside the man I’d promised to love and honor, the man I had ‘settled’ for. I longed for that other man’s touch as I waited for sleep to overtake me, or as I awoke from yet another dream of him.
I thought and I began embryonic plans. I would have to start doing some research soon to find out where he was, but this would be so much easier with the Internet and other resources than it would have been in the days at the onset of my adolescent infatuation. He shouldn’t be that hard to find. I already knew he had a home in Los Angeles.
I would also have to do something about my children. I was sure their father would take care of them—after all, what else does a man do when his wife suddenly goes crazy and runs off to chase a dream lover? I didn’t want to leave my girls, but I knew it was the only way. Perhaps if things worked out I would have them with me again.
I HAD to try! I’d waited my whole life, biding time, for him.
But none of this mattered now, because he was gone.
That gray day I was forced to examine my recent dreams anew. Could he have been calling to me, telling me he was moving on? Could he have been saying goodbye?
Now the only place I could find him would be in my dreams.